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May/June 2012

Although summer will not officially arrive until June, the pleasantly warm weather is ideal for outdoor dining. Crawfish, Louisiana’s freshwater crustaceans, are in season and plentiful. The bays along coastal Louisiana, as well as the Gulf of Mexico, are teeming with shrimp, crabs, speckled trout, redfish and flounder.
It’s time for fish-fries, seafood boils and other casual, kick-back, leisurely meals.
Let’s begin with crabs. Lump crabmeat is not always necessary to the dish. The jumbo lump or the regular lump, both the most expensive, is what I want when preparing a luxurious salad or when it’s going to be the focal point of the meal. Flake or special white crabmeat is ideal for making crab cakes or to extend lump crabmeat in a recipe. The claw meat, the least expensive, is stringy and usually darkish, but it’s quite flavorful and is ideal for making casseroles and dressings.
If you’re going to splurge on the white, delicate lump crabmeat, by all means prepare this delectable dish that can be served as an appetizer or a main course.

Serves 6 main courses or 12 appetizer servings
  • 1 1/2 cups mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon tarragon vinegar
  • 1/2 cup chili sauce
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
  • Dash of celery salt
  • 1 pound lump crabmeat, picked over for shells and cartilage
  • 6 strips bacon, crisply fried

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a small mixing bowl, combine the mayonnaise, vinegar, chili sauce, dry mustard, lemon juice, paprika, Tabasco, and celery salt. Mix well.
Divide the crabmeat evenly into six large ramekins (or twelve small ones). Spoon the sauce generously over the crabmeat and top with the bacon.
Bake for 15 minutes, or until the sauce bubbles. If you want to brown the tops, put them under the broiler for one to two minutes.
You can use any type of crabmeat for this dish – mix and match if you like.

Makes 4 servings
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup chopped bell peppers
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • Salt and cayenne to taste
  • 1/2 pound regular lump crabmeat, picked over for shells and cartilage
  • 1/2 pound claw meat
  • 1/4 cup dried fine bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Sauté the green onions, celery, and bell peppers in the butter in a heavy saucepan over medium heat. Blend in the flour. Slowly add the milk, stirring constantly, until the mixture is thick and creamy.
Add the lemon juice and season with salt and cayenne. Gently stir in the crabmeat. Spoon the mixture into a lightly greased baking dish. Top with the bread crumbs and cheese. Bake for 20 minutes or until bubbly and lightly brown on top. If shrimp tickle your taste buds, then by all means boil ‘em up and serve them with tartar sauce, remoulade sauce or whatever sauce makes you happy.

Makes about 4 servings
  • 1 gallon water
  • 1 large lemon, thinly sliced
  • 1 large yellow onion, quartered
  • 1/4 cup cayenne
  • 1 cup salt
  • 3 pounds shrimp, heads and shells on

Combine the water, lemon, onion, cayenne and salt in a large, heavy pot. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the shrimp, bring back to a boil, and cook for 3 to 5 minutes. Drain and serve hot.

  • 2 cups mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 2 teaspoons prepared horseradish
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce

Combine all of the ingredients in a mixing bowl and whisk well. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
You can use just about any kind of fish for fish-fries. Fresh-water catfish or your favorite salt-water fish will do.

Makes about 4 servings
  • 1 pound fish fillets, cut into 1×3-inch strips
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons yellow mustard
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/8 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
  • 2 cups corn flour
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 large yellow onionS, peeled and thinly sliced

Season the fish with the salt, black pepper, and cayenne. Place the strips in a bowl with the milk, mustard, lemon juice, and Tabasco. Cover and refrigerate for about 2 hours. Heat about 3 to 4 inches oil in a large, deep pot or electric fryer to 360 degrees.
Put the corn flour and cornstarch into a brown paper bag. Remove the fish from the marinade, a few pieces at a time, allowing the marinade to drip off. Put the strips in the bag and shake well to coat evenly. Drop the catfish into the hot oil and fry, turning the pieces once or twice, until they pop to the surface and are golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Arrange several slices of the onion over the fried fish and cover with a layer of paper towels. Repeat the process until all the fish is cooked.
You simply must have tartar sauce in which to dip the fried fish.

Makes about 2 cups
  • 2 cups mayonnaise
  • 2 pods garlic, mashed
  • 1 tablespoon sweet pickle relish
  • 1/4 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon finely minced onions

Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Cover and chill for 2 hours before serving.
For dessert, a tart lemon pie – a perfect ending to any seafood meal.

Makes one pie, to serve 6
  • 1 1/3 cups sugar
  • 6 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 pinches salt
  • 1 1/4 cups boiling water
  • 3 eggs, separated
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
  • 1 pre-baked 9-inch pie shell
  • 1 (7-ounce) jar marshmallow creme

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Combine the sugar, cornstarch and a pinch salt in a heavy saucepan over medium heat. Gradually add the water. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Cook for one minute, or until the mixture is clear and thickened. Stir a small amount of the hot mixture into beaten egg yolks, then return this mixture to the hot mixture. Cook for about three minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, then add the lemon juice, butter and lemon rind. Pour the mixture into the pie shell.
Beat the egg whites and a pinch salt until soft peaks form. Gradually add the marshmallow cream beating until stiff peaks form. Spread over the filling, sealing to the edge of the crust.
Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until the meringue is lightly browned. Watch carefully. Remove and cool before serving.

Posted by on May 14, 2012 in Uncategorized

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